KTM “in another league” at Phillip Island
By Ruth Lee
Saturday 21st October, 2023 - 6:00am
Brad Binder feels that KTM is in another league compared to last year after topping Friday’s MotoGP practice sessions at Phillip Island.
However, with last year’s performance in Australia lingering in the back of his mind, he wasn’t so sure before getting out on track.
“I was a bit worried coming out here to be honest because last year was really tough,” said the South African.
“But from the first lap [on Friday] morning, I realised we’re in another league compared to last year and the bike’s working great.”
Binder qualified 16th in 2022 before finishing 10th in the race, and then team-mate Miguel Oliveria couldn’t manage more than 21st in Qualifying and 12th on Sunday.
Miller credits the forward steps the KTM team have taken since introducing their updated, carbon chassis.
“I think the rear grip that we’ve been able to find in the past couple of grands prix is really helping us out here,” said the Australian.
“I’ve said it all year, the way this bike is through the high-speed change of directions is pretty agile and you’re able to find your line pretty well and it’s working pretty good so far.”
While that changes the rhythm of the weekend relatively to every other event so far in 2023, and potentially creates an opportunity for KTM, Miller is unmoved.
“Points don’t mean bugger-all for me; I’m ninth in the championship,” noted ‘Jackass’, bluntly.
“But I think in Brad’s case, yeah… I think, whether it’s [today] or Sunday, I’m sure we’ll be able to fight with these boys.
“I always like to go into the race unprepared because I do that every weekend,” he quipped in conclusion.
Binder had a broadly similar take, albeit more reserved.
“I don’t think it will change anything,” he remarked.
“But, regardless of how many laps they decide to make us do, normally, by the time you get to halfway, you have a very good idea of how it’s going to go.
“So, we’ve just got to survive a few more laps.”
KTM will first head into Free Practice 2 at 10:10 local time/AEDT this morning, before gearing up for qualifying.